Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Apple Barley Pudding

Submitted by Marcia Van Camp
Inspired by http://www.europeancuisines.com/Ireland-Desserts-Irish-Apple-Barley-Pudding



Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds tart apples, cored, peeled and thinly sliced
4 rounded tablespoons pearl barley
4 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh if possible)
4 tablespoons sugar 1 quart water
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 container of Cool Whip (8 oz)

Directions
1. Add the water to a heavy pot, add the barley, and bring to a boil. Add the sliced apples and cook gently until both the barley and the apples are soft (normally about half an hour).

2, At this point the apples may have gone completely to pieces. This is just fine. Remove the mixture from heat and puree -- either in a blender, right in the pot with a stick mixer, or by pushing through a sieve. (I didn't use a sieve)

3. Return the mixture to the pot and stir in the sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil again. Boil for about five minutes: then remove from the heat and cool.

4. When cooled, put into another container and refrigerate until very cold. Serve cold with cream stirred in. Or (for a slightly fancier take on the presentation) whip heavy whipping cream with a teaspoon of sugar per cup of cream, and layer in parfait glasses with the cream, saving a dollop for on top.

Notes: When I first made it, I thought the lemon was way too strong, but the next day it was much more subtle. I love the pudding and cream but I do think there might be something that could bring the two flavors together even better..perhaps a smidge of raspberry syrup would do the trick.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Earthquake Cake

Submitted by Marcia Van Camp


Ingredients
German Chocolate Cake Mix (Pillsbury is best)
8 oz. cream cheese
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
1 lb powdered sugar (2 cups)
1 cup crushed pecans
1 cup shredded coconut

Directions
1. Grease a 9 x 13 cake pan and then sprinkle coconut and pecans on the bottom of the pan.

2. Make cake mix as directed and pour into pan and spread evenly.

3. Heat oven to 350 degrees

4. Start water to boil in a double boiler.  When ready, put cream cheese and butter in the double boiler and melt.  Then add the powdered sugar and stir with a whisk.  Pour this over the cake mixture (like long pieces of ribbon).  The cake is going to bubble up through the cream cheese so you don't want to cover the cake completely.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min and enjoy!

Notes:
If you don't have a double boiler you can use a low heat setting and stir more often.  It will also help if the cream cheese and butter are softened ahead of time. My sister also served this to a family in Brussels and they absolutely loved it!



Monday, April 24, 2017

Blackened Salmon

Submitted by Marcia Van Camp
Inspired by "Saving Dinner" by Leanne Ely

Ingredients:
1 tbl paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 dash cumin

Notes: The original recipe has directions for cooking the salmon on high heat but we just usually generously sprinkle the seasoning on the fish and cook on the stove top. This seasoning mix is one we keep on hand at all times because it's our favorite for salmon. We usually just cook 2 fillets at a time, so we have some left over for the next time.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Horseradish Cream Sauce

Submitted by Marcia Van Camp
Inspired by http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/horseradish-cream-sauce-recipe

We used this sauce for some BBQ chicken and it was so good!  We also used it as a dipping sauce for our bacon wrapped asparagus.  We tried it on several different food and really couldn't get enough of it!

Ingredients:
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup horseradish (we used Atlantic prepared)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (we used Gulden's)
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions: 
Place all of the ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and whisk until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight to allow flavors to meld. Sauce can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2 to 3 weeks.

Notes:
We loved the original recipe but added some garlic.  We also want to try adding some other spices to this in the future because I think they would mix very well.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus with Puff Pastry

Submitted by Marcia Van Camp
Inspired by https://m.facebook.com/buzzfeedtasty/



Ingredients 
1 sheet of thawed puff pastry 
1 bunch of asparagus (thick)
1 packet of bacon
1 egg
Black pepper 

Directions
1. Wash and count the asparagus. In the bunches I get there are usually 15 to 20 pieces.

2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and line a pan with parchment paper. Foil will also work but make sure to use non-stick spray.

3. Take the bacon that you need and cut each piece in half so that you have 2 long strips. For example, 20 asparagus means you need to cut 10 pieces of bacon in half. Wrap each piece around a piece of asparagus and set on the parchment paper.

4. Roll the pastry dough so that you will be able to get more pieces out of it. If you only have 10 pieces of asparagus you might not need to roll it out...but if you have more than that you probably need to roll out the dough.  Remember to put flour on your surface so that the dough won't stick. Slice the pastry into strips. Anything from a 1/4" to 1/2" thick is fine.  They don't have to be perfect or uniform, they will all taste good.  Wrap the dough strips around the asparagus.  I try to wrap in the same direction as the bacon but going the opposite way is fine too.

5. Put all the finished pieces on the pan and brush them with an egg wash.  Sprinkle then with a little pepper and put them in the oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The dough should be crispy and brown.

Enjoy!




Notes
If your asparagus is thin you can wrap up 2 at a time and they will taste just as good. Sometimes I also double up if I had a hard time cutting enough pastry.

These still taste good after being refrigerated.  Hot or cold, they are so good!





Saturday, February 4, 2017

No crumble Granola Bars

Submitted by Marcia Van Camp
inspired by http://www.inspiredtaste.net/21462/soft-and-chewy-granola-bars-recipe/#itr-recipe-21462


Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups quick oats (I like Quaker Oats)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped chocolate covered almonds (I like Blue Diamond)
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup unsalted butter 
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup dates coarsely chopped


Directions:  

1. Put the dates in a small bowl and add about 1 tablespoon of water.  They are nice and sticky and adding the water will help spread the stickiness around and keep the bars together. 

2. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the oats and almonds and mix with a spoon. Using a jellyroll pan, lay down a silicone liner and spread the oats and nuts evenly. If you don't have a silicone mat, line the pan with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.

3. Bake 5 minutes, stir and bake another 3 to 5 minutes until lightly toasted. Transfer to a large bowl.

4. Combine butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract and the salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until butter melts and the sugar completely dissolves.

5. Pour butter mixture into the large bowl with toasted oats and almonds. Add the dates (with water) and mix well. 

6. Spray a 8x8 glass cooking pan with cooking spray and put the mixture into the pan. Press the mixture down evenly for at LEAST one minute.  You can use a rubber spatula or your fingers or both!

7. Cover then refrigerate at least 2 hours. Remove block of granola mixture from pan (it can seriously come out all at once because it sticks together so well) cut into the desired length and width you desire. 


8. Store bars in an airtight container for up to one week. For the softest bars, keep at room temperature. For slightly harder bars, store in the fridge.

Notes: 
The original recipe called for cranberries and chocolate chips but I like the chocolate covered almonds because I get the flavor without the melting and mess.  I had also read another blog that mentioned dates really help everything stick together and I like the way they taste.  Using something else like cut up cranberries or raisins with water might work well too, I just haven't tried it.  You can probably try adding other things, I was mostly just using what was on hand.  

Happy Snacking!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Dinner in a Pumpkin

Submitted by Marcia Van Camp
Inspired by http://www.favfamilyrecipes.com/dinner-pumpkin/



Ingredients:
  • 4-6 small pumpkins, about 4" in diameter
  • 1 tbsp oil or butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (we used baby bella)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (we used dark)
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce (we used low sodium)
  • 4 cups cooked rice, white or brown

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil.
  • Thoroughly wash and dry the outside of the pumpkins.
  • Cut the top off the pumpkins and clean out the pulp and seeds. Place the pumpkins on the baking sheet. Save the tops.
  • In a large skillet, sauté onion and mushrooms in oil or butter. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain the grease from the beef. Add salt and pepper.
  • In a large bowl, mix soup, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Add ground beef mixture and cooked rice.
  • Empty bowl into the cleaned out pumpkin and replace pumpkin top.
  • Bake for 1 hour on the lower rack of the oven, or on the rack where the pumpkins can be most centered in the oven.
  • After 1 hour, remove the tops and check the sides of the pumpkins for doneness. The outside of the pumpkins will turn a dark orange, and the inside of the pumpkins should be tender and easily scoop off the sides with a spoon. If the inside of the pumpkin is still not fully cooked, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the pumpkin. Sometimes I've cooked the pumpkin as long as an hour and a half before it is ready. Using hot pads, place the pumpkin onto a serving plate, remove the lid, and stir. Be sure to scoop off chunks of cooked pumpkin into the casserole as it is served. That's the best part!
Notes: The original recipe was not for smaller pumpkins but I thought they were more fun in these individual serving sizes.  Also, instead of making the stuffing and then baking it in the pumpkins, I baked the pumpkins while I made the stuffing to save on time.  When everything was cooked, I put the stuffing in the pumpkins and thought they tasted great. Originally, this recipe also called for water chestnuts but we left those out. I think shredded carrots would probably be a good addition.